Sunday, December 20, 2009

Butterscotch-Glazed Coffee Shortbread

I mentioned a cookie swap and three types of cookies I finally chose to take to the event, and this is the second of the three. This particular recipe is from last December’s Food and Wine issue which included an article about Christmas cookies from baking’s biggest talents. I usually read the December issues too late to actually make use of the recipes for the same year’s festivities, so I file all those great-looking recipes away and wait until the season arrives again. These little shortbread cookies from Flo Braker remained stuck in my head for the last year, and I knew they’d be part of this year’s cookie baking spree. The shortbread itself has finely ground espresso in it, the butterscotch glaze is made with brewed espresso, and the cookies are decorated with a chocolate-covered espresso bean.

The shortbread dough was made with butter, sugar, vanilla, salt, flour, and ground espresso. It was placed in a parchment-lined nine inch by thirteen inch baking pan, covered with plastic wrap, and pressed flat with the bottom of a glass. The plastic was removed, and the shortbread baked for about 50 minutes. The pan was removed from the oven and allowed to cool for about ten minutes before the bars were cut. It’s important to cut the bars before the shortbread finishes cooling to avoid complete crumbliness. Then, the butterscotch glaze was made from butter, brown sugar, brewed espresso, light corn syrup, and a pinch of salt. That mixture boiled for just a couple of minutes to thicken slightly, and then it was spread on the cooled shortbread. The glaze was scored with the tip of a knife along the cuts in the shorbread. Last, but before the glaze cooled, a chocolate-covered espresso bean was added to each cookie.

By baking this in a nine by thirteen pan, it made a thin shortbread which Braker intended for a flaky and light result. However, I couldn’t help wondering about trying this again in a smaller pan for thicker cookies. Not that I’m complaining about the texture of the cookies as they were. They were flaky and lovely, but I was just curious about making them a little studier. Now, there was absolutely nothing I wanted to change about the butterscotch espresso glaze except that next time I’ll double the quantity and pour some over ice cream or pound cake or my breakfast cereal. And, the glaze does set up nicely, and it really did hold the chocolate espresso beans in place. The cookies with the glaze were buttery and sweet, and that sweetness was well-balanced by the espresso flavor. I’m very glad I remembered this recipe from last year, and I’ll be making these cookies for years to come.




23 comments:

  1. OK, the search is over. I'm bring these cookies to the Christmas party. Thanks, Lisa.

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  2. That looks mighty scrumptious! Yummy!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. I want these! They look incredible.

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  5. I love the glaze!! It's really attracting me to take take a bite (or two).

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  6. They look absolutely delicious. Love the shiny glaze!

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  7. If I made these, I would have to eat them all by myself because of my coffee hating husband. But I guess that wouldn't be such a bad thing...

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  8. They look so dainty and delicious. I love little nibbles like these.

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  9. Wow those look pretty amazing!

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  10. I have made something similar once, but I will try this recipe for comparison, they look delicious!

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  11. What an elegant looking cookie! These would be great for a party.

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  12. These look incredible and I just love the chocolate-covered espresso bean on top!

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  13. These shortbreads look amazing. What a treat, if I was the recipient, I'd have felt like I cheated to end up with a batch

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  14. They look delicious. I do have kind of an issue with the type of dough that you need for these cookies as I always seem to be able to mess things up, but hmm. these look very tempting!

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  15. shortbread gets a "meh" from me, but with a butterscotch glaze you'd better believe i become a fan. love the bean on top, too. :)

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  16. What a unique shortbread recipe - they look fabulous!

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  17. These sound incredible! Such rich and delicious flavors. And the glaze looks so pretty.

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  18. Lisa I have missed tons of your recipes.. will catch up once I get back..
    Happy Holidays & Happy New year to you and your loved ones.

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  19. Whoa, I must have missed this recipe in my magazine last year. Coffee and butterscotch together in one buttery, crisp cookie? Irresistible! Thank you for bringing this gem to my attention the second time around.

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